Practicing Skills That Predict For Success
We believe that camp is the perfect place to fill gaps in the traditional education that schools offer by practicing skills that predict for success.
Schools are so pressured to meet the demands of written test performance that they have very little capacity to help students build skills that are not easily measured. Chief among these skills are “the 4 C’s” (communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking), which are critical for children to be prepared to thrive in a fast changing world.
- Communication. All children today will grow up to be competent at communicating over technology platforms. Those who stand out will do so because they have strong interpersonal communication skills. This is a skill that we practice all day every day at Game Theory Camp.
- Collaboration. The ability to work effectively in a group is another critical skill that we practice at Game Theory Camp every day. Many of our activities are based on collaborative games or teamwork initiatives where campers have to work together to accomplish a task. For campers who enjoy creative projects, we encourage the formation of teams so that campers can combine their skills to enhance what they can create together.
- Creativity. If you can’t think of at least a dozen ways that we could stretch campers to grow their creativity at Game Theory Camp, we encourage you to sign up for camp yourself!
- Critical Thinking. This is the skill that we are building when we practice the strategic elements of game theory. Our focus is on helping campers grow their ability to make strategic choices, which is a skill that transfers well to contexts outside of camp.
A Healthy Relationship With Competition (the 5th C)
We add our own 5th “C” to the list by emphasizing one other life skill that we feel is an important part of growing up: a healthy relationship with winning, losing, and competition. While we use many collaborative games at Game Theory Camp, some that we use are competitive. Our goal is to teach campers that win or lose, competition is an excellent vehicle through which one can learn and grow. When confronted with a decision about whether to try something new, too many people retreat due to a fear of failure. We always want our campers to be comfortable trying something even if there is a chance of losing, because being in the game is the best way to learn.
Therefore, we strive to create a culture of sportsmanship where the most important thing is that everyone has gained something from participation in a competitive game. We still keep score in these kinds of games, we just make sure that the score isn’t considered the very most important thing.